Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bulldog Pottery Holiday Weekend

Bruce and Max peaking into the kiln
 Maxwell and Bruce are peaking into the kiln. At this stage the kiln is hot and slowly taking the bricks off the door helps cool it down so we can unload. If we didn't do this, the kiln would probably not be ready to unload for another day, on top of the 40 hour wait to this point.  We posted this image on our facebook page, and Mountain Cousin Michael Kline wrote some funny ha ha's. We want to share a little pottery humor with you.
Michael Kline writes:
 "We (Mark Shapiro and I) always had this battery of tests: (he is referring to; when is the kiln too hot
if the kiln....
  •  burns paper/too hot.
  • cuticles burn? too hot
  • spit on finger, touch pot:sizzle/too hot
  • now we have the "red ball/melt=too hot" test!

Bruce writes 
  • Red Ball to Black Cinder would be a reasonable too hot indicator?

Michael writes 
  • Check. Rubber ball cinder test has been added as an indicator to impatient potter standing next to kiln battery of tests.

Unloading a kiln can be full of mixed feelings. There are subtle nuances and expectations for the glaze surfaces that we look for.  Just the right melt, just the right color, hue, and texture. To us as potters there is our favorite way the glaze turns out, but most of the time it may only happen on a handful of pieces. For example, This particular kiln load was a bit on the cool side. We wish we had waited at least 20 more minutes before we turned off the kiln, we like a little bit more of a melt in the glaze surface, but we also realize we did not lose any of Bruce's bowls due to glaze running, and only a couple of jar lids, and hey, it still came out really good overall! 
We usually start pulling pots from the bottom of the kiln since it is always cooler than the top.

Samantha unloading the front part of the kiln

Our kiln has two layers, the front and the back.
Bruce is getting closer the the second layer of pottery in our kiln
Bruce added a turquoise glaze onto his lustre shino this cycle
We wanted to show you a sample of the variation that occurs with Bruce's shino glazing.  The two cups below are the same glaze. The one on the left did not get any carbon trapping, and the one on the right did. Maybe some time we can write a separate blog post about shino specifically, or if you are in our shop and are interested let us know.  One reason we like this glaze is because of the variety in surface color depending on where it is at in the kiln.

An assortment of Samantha's covered jars

Samantha kept this cup. She added another glaze onto it and wants to keep it as a reference.

This is a cup of Bruce's that we kept. 

Saturday morning started early. We scheduled the kiln opening to start at 9:00 and people were on time! Wonderful. We were not quite ready. We were still walking pots up from our studio. Everyone was patient with us and enjoyed looking through the new work as we unpacked the pottery from the boxes.

People visited us throughout the day. We are very happy with the turnout, and appreciated everyone coming out to our Bulldog Pottery event. We have begun to clear out more of our old studio space for pottery display. 

Eventually, we will turn these two rooms into our shop as soon as we can move all of our stuff out. We sure can collect it, stuff.

Ed took a picture of Bruce and me at the end of the day. We want to thank everyone for coming out this past weekend, and thank you to everyone that thought of us.  
We have had a blast this year! Here is to an awesome 2012!


Alex Solla said...

Merry Christmas to you both!

Joe Troncale said...

Congratulations on such nice work!

Bulldog Pottery said...

Thanks! Happy New Year!